Dec 27, 2012
With interactive illustrations, music, and the ability to read and listen in English and Spanish, this app is just the thing to make story time both exciting and educational!
Check out the trailer, and you'll see why everyone is talking about the Nalah and the Pink Tiger app!
For more information on the book, a schedule of Nalah and the Pink Tiger puppet shows and events, and free downloadable activities from Anne, visit the Nalah and the Pink Tiger website!
Dec 20, 2012
VERY BERRY CLAFOUTIS
Dec 14, 2012
Children's books are the perfect print medium to take the plunge into app conversion. They're image based, playful by nature, and full of imagination. Not to mention, the interactivity is great for exploration and discovery. With all of that going on, it's no wonder children's book apps are the new thing we keep hearing about.
Scarletta is publishing our first picture book this spring. And not only that, but the book is also in the process of becoming an app. That's right, Nalah and the Pink Tiger will be available as a bilingual app, in English and Spanish, for the iPad! But as exciting as that is--and it's pretty darn exciting--I found myself wondering just what goes into making an app. And since we're lucky enough to have the people who do this sort of thing in our same office, I only had to walk about twenty steps to find the Nalah app designer, Kelly, and ask her some questions.
First things first, there are multiple programs that you can use to develop apps. We happen to use a version of Adobe called DPS (or digital publishing suite) that allows you to create the layouts and animations right in Adobe. So we take the inDesign files originally created for printing, and within DPS we can add all the animations and sounds right to the original pages. We just have to make sure that the spreads are proportionate to the iPad screen, and off we go.
Dec 13, 2012
Dec 7, 2012
The Mom's Choice Awards® honor the best in products and services for children and families. Evaluating in over 150 categories, the Mom’s Choice Awards® use an esteemed panel of judges including educators, media and other experts, parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists, and others. "The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services," and the result is a list of materials that parents and educators can feel confident using. (-Mom's Choice Awards®)
Noyce's first book in the series, Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, was also a Mom's Choice Award® Gold winner, and the second book continues that tradition. The Lexicon Adventure series provides young readers with entertaining and exciting stories that are rich in language play, description, complex themes, and multiple points of view. Not to mention its embedded explanations of science, math, language, and music make the series a great educator's tool for use in cross-curricular learning.
We're proud to have The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music recognized as one of the best in family-friendly media!
Nov 30, 2012
In the spirit of the holidays, we put together a list of twenty-four of our favorite children's books—some classics, some new—and made our own advent calendar. You can wrap these up under your tree, and every night before Christmas, your family can read one together. Sounds like the perfect way to get ready for the holidays, no?
Below the image are the links to buy all the books from your favorite bookstore. This Saturday, December 1, just happens to be Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, so grab the kids, head to your local bookstore, and stock up on these holiday favorites!
24. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
23. Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
22. Yes, Virginia There Is a Santa Claus by Chris Plehal
21. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
20. Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
19. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Joffee Numeroff
18. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
17. The Nutcracker (this version) by Susan Jeffers
16. Merry Christmas, Splat by Rob Scotton
15. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
13. Dream Snow by Eric Carle
12. The Twelve Days of Christmas (this version) by Laurel Long
11. Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson
10. The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
9. Eloise at Christmastime Kay Thompson
8. Peef the Christmas Bear by Tom Hegg
7. Merry Christmas, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
6. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Conner
5. Wombat Divine by Mem Fox
4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (adaptation)
3. Bear Stays Up for Christmas Karma Wilson
2. The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
1. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
Nov 28, 2012
Nov 26, 2012
After a little digging around online for popular opinions, and examining our own tastes, we've narrowed it down to a list of 10 key elements:
- 1. The story must understand what it's like to be a child going through something for the first time. "Picture books communicate self-acceptance, and they model coping strategies for children who are just learning to deal with powerful emotions." (Young Children and Picture Books)
2. A picture book should be simple but thoughtful. There is a small amount of space to find the perfect combination where all the elements work perfectly together.
3. The language should fit the audience. It should be playful, be fun, be attention grabbing, but be rich. Never forced. Every word needs to count for something.
4. Picture books are for the adults reading them as well, and so the story should resonate with and be enjoyable for the child AND the adult reading it. There's nothing better than reading a picture book as an adult and having it still mean something to you.
Nov 16, 2012
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If you haven't read this book yet, you must go and buy it today. It's great. And the book trailer doesn't disappoint either. The split screen and music made me fall in love with this trailer just as much as the book.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
The illustrations for both of her books (see next trailer) are beautiful and simply amazing. They are somewhat reminiscent of Brian Selznick, who we featured in our first list of trailers. The song is pretty great too.
Nov 13, 2012
We really have something for everyone, so click on any of the links below and find a new way to connect with us!
1. Scarletta Twitter
2. Scarletta Kids Twitter
Nov 9, 2012
Katie and Aaron DeYoe are probably the cutest pair of redheads you'll ever meet, not to mention incredibly talented illustrators. They met while studying graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and though they are both full-time graphic designers, they spend most of their free time drawing, doodling, painting, and printing. They also enjoy riding their serendipitously matching red Schwinns around Minneapolis.
We took a bit of time to chat with Aaron about their work on The Mighty Quinn, out in May from Scarletta Junior Readers, and how it's been working as a duo.
Really good! We have discovered that our process is mostly switching between art director and illustrator. Sometimes I will have a vision for a particular illustration that I know Katie can execute better than me...and vice versa.
2. What have you enjoyed most about it?
Discovering how we work as a team. A long-term goal of ours is work collaboratively full time, and this project is helping us discover what that will be like.
3. Have their been unexpected challenges?
We set high expectations for ourselves, and struggle with that sometimes. Otherwise, nothing too unexpected.
A lot of the "body language" that the characters convey in the illustrations are products of Katie's expertise. I will try to simplify her sketches down into hard, minimal lines. We tag-team a lot of the details and usually art direct each other.
6. What is your process for creating the illustrations? And what medium do you use?
Nov 1, 2012
Oct 25, 2012
Oct 18, 2012
|The sea of people browsing|
Oct 8, 2012
We spent all day Friday in the exhibit hall, talking to booksellers, librarians, fellow publishers, and even the occasional student. It was a great day, and we enjoyed every minute of it. The Midwest is truly full of passionate book lovers, and we're happy to be a part of it.
So, without further ado, here are some of the pictures we took of the exhibit floor and our table.
Oct 4, 2012
According to ALA, “Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read....it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
We, at Scarletta Press, think it is important to support the written word and people’s right to choose what they will and will not read. After all, if you don’t agree with a book, you don’t need to read it. That doesn’t mean that other people shouldn’t be allowed to.
So to celebrate the right to read, we thought we’d put together a list of some of the highlights of Banned Book Week so far from across the internet. Feel free to share your own links, photos, or personal stories below. We want to know what things you’re enjoying this week.
First off, here is a highlighted list from ALA of the most often challenged titles. Some of them may surprise you.
1. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Sep 28, 2012
|Some of theARCs for our spring 2013 books|
If you've been on our Facebook or Twitter accounts in the last week, you may have noticed that we've been posting a lot of pictures of ARCs. For those not in the book business, an ARC (or advanced reading copy) is an unproofed, bound copy of a book that is printed prior to publication. They can also be called galleys, AREs (advanced reading editions) or in the case of picture books/highly illustrated books you might hear the terms F&G (folded and gathered) and BLAD (book layout and design).
All of those acronyms boil down to one thing: a free book given away by publishers in order to generate excitement and buzz about an upcoming title. We have ARCs printed and send them to reviewers, bloggers, booksellers, librarians, and media contacts; give them away at trade shows and in online giveaways; give them to our sales reps; and give them to our authors so that they can have a good idea of what their book will look like once it's published.
HOW DO YOU SPOT AN ARC?
Sep 21, 2012
I sent a tweet last winter that said my plan for the night was to curl up with some takeout food and a new book I had gotten. With Twitter, I usually expect my tweets to get lost in the chatter, but not long after, the author of said book tweeted me back to say it sounded like a perfect night. Did she have to do this? Not at all, and not every author does. But it certainly made me excited to read the book, and more willing to check out her other titles. And obviously, it made me want to talk more about her and her book to friends. And we can all agree that these things are important for an author. That's why it seems like more and more authors are taking the plunge and getting involved online.
Scarletta authors, and the authors of our imprints, get involved in different ways as well, and we do what we can to support whatever avenue they choose to take. Some of our authors run blogs and websites, which you can find by going to the authors section on the left side of this page, and some are on social networking sites*. We even feature our new authors on this blog so you can read about them before their books have even come out. (Have you read the interview we did we Betsy's Day at the Game author, Greg Bancroft? Or the guest blog written by The Mighty Quinn author, Robyn Parnell?)
We want readers to get to know our authors and be as excited as we are about their books. So we want to know, in this day and age of accessibility, how much to you like to connect with authors online? And what is your preferred outlet--reading a blog, chatting on Twitter, getting updates in your Facebook newsfeed, or maybe all of the above?
Click here for Anne Sawyer Aitch's Facebook fan page for Nalah and the Pink Tiger
Click here for Bob Macdonald's Twitter account
Click here for Pamela Cory's Facebook page
Sep 13, 2012
"Two thirteen-year-old cousins travel through an imaginary land called Lexicon, searching for clues to help them locate and return children who have gone missing from their villages. As the cousins, Ivan and Daphne, use a compass and Cartesian plane to make their way across Lexicon, they encounter a village overrun by punctuation, are joined by a four-legged thesaurus, and use mathematical formulas to help repair a town. In their travels, the cousins use words and numbers to gather clues that eventually lead them to the location of the missing children. Here they call on their growing confidence and knowledge of language and mathematics to rescue the children and help them return to villages.
Noyce’s imaginative, playful use of words and numbers keeps readers engaged throughout the story. Most tween and teen students will likely recognize an underlying message about the dangers of mindlessly watching television and playing video games. This book also answers the age-old question asked by students: “When will I ever use this in real life?” The charming story, along with the focus questions and extension activities at the end of the book, make this an entertaining selection for student-led reading discussions at the upper elementary and intermediate level."
—Jennifer Geoffroy, D.C. Public Schools, Washington, D.C.
A big thank you to Jennifer and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for saying such great things about Lost in Lexicon.
And if you're a teacher or educator, we want to know, what do you look for when picking books to use in your classroom?
Sep 12, 2012
On September 23rd, children's book author and puppeteer Anne Sawyer-Aitch will be completing a marathon! Sure it's great exercise, but her motivation comes from somewhere else. Here's what she had to say:
Will you walk a mile to give a kid a book? I will. In fact, I’ll walk twenty six. In the winter and spring of 2013, I’ll be touring the Spanish puppet show version of Nalah and the Pink Tiger to social service agencies that serve Latino children. Kids will not only get to see the puppet show, they’ll get to make a puppet too. Afterwards, each child will get their own copy of Nalah and the Pink Tiger to take home. Have I applied for a grant to do this? You bet. But Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grants require matching funding. For this project, I need to raise $2,400. To do this, I’m walking in the Community First Fox Cities Marathon in Appleton, WI, on September 23rd. You can help make this project a reality by sponsoring my walk.
Why do this? Because I want to get my book Nalah and the Pink Tiger into the hands of kids who may not have access to lots of books at home. If you need more reasons, read on.
Sep 6, 2012
"Highly innovative gourmet meals and the exquisitely selected wines to accompany them may be as intricate as a symphony, and as tricky to explain, but here the author has taken an orderly approach to describing the hunt for culinary perfection....Yet, just when one eating tale seems like another, MacDonald lets loose with an unexpected account, often brimming with intrigue, that puts a reader in mind of the ultimate dining compliment: 'I’ll have what he’s having.' At least, in a vicarious way, his hungry readers can." Read the rest here.
Huffington Post Food, and on his website (Headbutler.com):
What keeps him human -- what keeps this book from a wallow in meals that read like NC-17 movies -- is his lack of snobbery about his good fortune. 'Our meals in local bistros and even picnics with fresh French bread and favorites such as pork rillettes, sliced sausages and hams, celery remoulade and Comte cheese could be just as memorable.'
...You get the idea: the Macdonalds have had decades of the kind of experiences that are unrealized dreams for most foodies. For those dreamers, as for me, this is armchair dining, and at the highest level." Read the rest of the article here.
Aug 31, 2012
A love of baseball really comes across in this book, and after talking to Greg for a little while, you can't help but share his love of the game.
1. What brought you to writing? And what made you decide to write books for children?
I have been writing for decades. As a perennial student writing countless papers; as a pastor writing countless sermons; as a teacher writing any number of class outlines, I have been writing most of my life. I have kept journals for years and am now writing frequently in separate journals for my grandchildren (thoughts, life-insights, reports of their activities that their parents don’t have time to record). It’s natural for me to write books for children because I am constantly telling stories. My kids and I would make up stories before bed. We would tell stories while taking long road trips. We would tell each other our dreams (or nightmares!). I love exercising my imagination and including my listeners, children or adults, in the process.
2. Where do you find inspiration for writing?
It’s just in me. It’s a part of who I am. I write and tell stories as a way to help me organize my thoughts, or work out a solution to a particular problem, or entertain others. Also, I am a voracious reader. I always have been. I read anything and everything, even cereal boxes. I just love words. Of course, not all my reading is necessarily enjoyable. Some, I just have to do (like email). Good writing, fiction or non-fiction, however, is such a passion of mine that I fear I might go crazy if not surrounded by books and the written word. I am also something of an introvert, in the sense that I live in the world of ideas. I love to ponder. I get energy from being able to think, dream, and wonder. Although I love being with people, and am naturally gregarious, I can be depleted by a crowd. Books help me re-charge.
3. One of the important themes in Betsy’s Day at the Game is family. Did you model any of the characters after members of your own family?
I did. The little girl is modeled after my daughter. She is and has always been a very strong, capable girl. Athletic. Smart. Open to fun and new adventures. She was the kind of girl who would dig up earthworms to go fishing, not minding the fact that she was chipping the fingernail polish off her tips. Catching the foul ball from her favorite players is modeled after my son’s experience of chasing down a ball from one of his favorite players.
4. Another great thing about the book is that it comes with a scorecard so that children can learn to keep score along with Betsy. Who taught you how to score baseball games? Is it something that you have taught your children and grandchildren as well?
Aug 29, 2012
So if you're in the Midwest―and heading to the fair before it ends on Labor Day―see if you can find fat cat! And if you do, snap a picture and send it to us!
Aug 22, 2012
Here are a few of the pictures from the event. To see more, you can visit our Facebook page. And if you were there, please let us know what you thought and make sure to tag yourself in the pictures.
|The books. Most of them were gone by the end of the event!|
|Bob and Lee's Q&A session|
|The audience listening intently to Bob|
|Signing books at the end of the discussion session|
Thank you to everyone who came out--and to the Barnes & Noble Galleria--for making this such a successful event!
Aug 16, 2012
1. What can we do that's outside of the
box or special for this event?
2. What is the incentive for consumers to attend this event?
3. What connects consumers to this venue?
4. How can we creatively reach consumers who frequent the venue & those who
Something that Leavitt said in her post really stuck out to me (because it's true!)
"What publicists and authors need to understand is that not every event is going to a crush of hundreds of people. But having a good event means that the folks attending will remember you and your work. They will tell their friends about how wonderful it was to meet you and talk to you about your work. And most importantly, they will now become loyal fans who will not only buy your books, they’ll give them as gifts."So what can we do to draw those good consumers in?
Aug 10, 2012
The official release date of Pendred Noyce's newest Lexicon Adventures book was only yesterday, but already the praise is piling up! We're so excited that everyone is loving this book as much as we do that we thought we would just highlight some of the lovely things people have had to say.
In a 4-star review, Marilyn at Compass Book Ratings said:
"THE ICE CASTLE, the second book in the Lexicon Adventures series, has many necessary ingredients that would entice young readers, i.e. adventure, fantasy, family member who don't get along, social commentary and a unique emphasis on music....Young adults will recognize that it reflects the real world they live in and will be able to see the social implications." Read the rest of the review here.
"There are puzzles to solve, traitors to catch, and friendships to forge. This is a well-written, thoughtful fantasy book that addresses issues of equality while providing interesting musical insights. Besides, it’s a great adventure!" You can read the rest of the review here.
"a beautiful symphony in which Ivan, Daphne, and Lila face various challenges and come to learn about themselves, one another, and human nature. This beautifully orchestrated book will delight and captivate readers of all ages."
Aug 8, 2012
Max* was the most precocious of the students in the creative writing group I'd been asked to lead at my son's school. He incorporated universal themes into his character's dilemmas, but refused to cast those characters in our universe. His stories were situated on faraway planets in distant galaxies. While I saw nothing particularly wrong with specialization, for Max, space was the final, and only, frontier.
He was the first student to read his stories aloud, and the last to recognize that his critiques of the others' recurrent topics ("Dude, your villains always die in fiery crashes!" "Alyssa, another stray Rottweiler looking for a home?!") also applied to his own works.
Although the students had been chosen for the group due to their creative writing aptitude, they initially, rigidly, followed what I privately called the preteen's "anyone but us/anywhere but here" directives of storytelling:
Aug 3, 2012
Jul 26, 2012
The book is out on August 9, and it comes with discussion questions and activities to get kids involved with music and science. What's even cooler is that we've put together a set activities so that you can host your very own Ice Castle Activity Fair at your local school, library, or museum.
So check out our video to get an introduction to the book and the activity fair, and if you want to host an event, email our publicity director, Desiree .
Jul 20, 2012
Flavorwire posted a list the other day of what they deemed to be 10 of the greatest YA series of all time, and it made us wonder, what is the appeal of a series over a single book? We’re not arguing that there aren’t great single books out there, or that they can't be as popular, but you have to admit that when you think of the best-selling books of the time, they are all series: The Hunger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings. The list could go on. And books continue to be bought by publishing houses not just as a single title, but in groups of three or more. There's always a discussion of whether the soon-to-be acquired book could be turned into a series.
And we're no different. We have a few new series in the works, and book two of Scarletta Junior Readers’ Lexicon Adventure series, The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music, hits shelves in August. (The series follows cousins Ivan and Daphne and their exciting--and sometimes dangerous--adventures in the land of Lexicon. If you haven’t read them yet, you definitely should.)
But back to series as a whole, what’s so great about them? Here’s our list so far:
1. Kids grow up with the characters. When I read the first Harry Potter book, I was the same age as Harry. As the books continued to be published, I stayed roughly the same age as the characters, and it made me identify with them even more.
Jul 10, 2012
We’ve been looking over Mpls.St. Paul Magazine’s list of participating restaurants and their respective menus, and we have to say, there are some great options. A couple of us are already planning on going to The Oceanaire Seafood Room, and I’m personally really excited to try the Firelake Grill House and Sea Change at the Guthrie.
Tweet us with your restaurant plans this week, using the hashtag #MNRestaurantWeek, and you could win a copy of local foodie Bob Macdonald’s new book, Knives on the Cutting Edge: The Great Chefs’ Dining Revolution. In it, you'll find everything from the rise of celebrity chefs to the healthy eating movement and the growing use of bold flavors by chefs all over Europe and the U.S. It's a great accompaniment to all the delicious food you'll be experiencing this week! Plus, it's not out until August, so you'll be the first of your friends to read it!
Jul 6, 2012
But it's not just for fun. We need to make a video for an upcoming virtual conference, and rather than film our publicity director, Desiree, simply talking about the book in our conference room, we wanted to make the background a little more interesting. And yes, we're always looking for an excuse to build a book castle and call it work.
Jun 29, 2012
Jun 21, 2012
If you want to find out more about any of the books, or purchase them online, you can follow the links that correspond to each numbered cover. Happy reading!
1. Forever Young by Bob Dylan and illustrated by Paul Rogers
2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornsby
3. Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
4. One Love Adapted by Cedella Marley - Based on the song by Bob Marley
5. Come As You Are by Michael Azerrad
6. The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music by Pendred Noyce
7. Hassie Calhoun: A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence by Pamela Cory
8. Just Kids by Patti Smith
9. Spiral Bound by Dessa
10. The Old, Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes by Greil Marcus
11. Mama Don’t Allow by Thacher Hurd
12. Under their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It) by Bill German
And if we've forgotten one of you're own favorite music books, make sure to add it to the list!
Jun 19, 2012
If you're also going to be in Anaheim for ALA, make sure you remember to visit us! We'll be part of the Publisher Group West booth (#2566) and we've got plenty of stuff going on make it worth your while.
Jun 8, 2012
So when I came across Melville House Books' Moby Awards for the best (and worst) book trailers, I was delighted. You can check out some of last year's hits—and MAJOR misses—on their website, but here are some of their picks, as well as some of my own favorites.
It's a Book by Lane Smith
This is such a great book, and I love how the trailer makes the illustrations come alive.
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Wonderstruck's illustrations are beautifully intricate, and this trailer not only shows that, in an interesting 3-dimensional way, but it also allows viewers to hear about the book from Selznick himself as he walks in and out of the sketches.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The typography and silent-film feel of this trailer are what attracted me to it. It's only text, but it still manages to be more appealing than other trailers with hired actors.
Jun 7, 2012
Jun 1, 2012
Monday’s festivities start out with an opening session from the American Booksellers Association—or ABA, ok there I go again—based on the campaign called “Why Indies Matter.” This video campaign on the IndieBound website features authors, booksellers, and customers giving short testimonials on independent bookstores and why we love them. At the BEA event, Richard Russo will be speaking about the current and future role of indie bookstores, and what’s also cool is that on Tuesday, ABA will be capturing other responses to the question of why indies matter from this year’s honorees.
The adult book and author breakfast on Tuesday morning will have appearances by Stephen Colbert and Junot Diaz, and later in the day is an interesting panel on the “Ongoing evolution of YA fiction.” So for everyone who’s dying to know the deal with Hunger Games-type trilogies and their wild popularity, all your questions will be answered.
May 31, 2012
May 24, 2012
ALA, saying, “Books can be a safe way for young people to explore edgier, sensitive, or complicated topics, and they provide parents the opportunity to help their teens grow and understand these kinds of sensitive issues.” She argues that if a large, outside organization were allowed to rate books based on mature content, it would end up forcing authors to edit their books so as not to be placed in an R-rated category. It’s also pointed out that some books, just because of their subject, would automatically be placed in an adult category. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines is an important book on drug use that by no means encourages teen readers to use, but is still full of profanity. Any effort to censor books like this for content would be to portray the situations inaccurately, and thereby lessen their impact.